Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday homework

I believe I already wrote about our frustrations
with the amount of homework Abigail has in 6th grade.
But the frustrations have been so monumental
that I can't write about it enough.

I am having a parent/teacher conference
with all of her core teachers about it on Tuesday.

I sent them an e-mail last week
out of utter frustration.
LeGrand laughed on Thursday,
when for the second day in a row
Abigail came home with no homework,
except for the 4 major projects that had already been assigned.

LeGrand said,
"Do you think that this change is a result of your e-mail, Alice?"
The change had been drastic.
Abigail has been doing homework every waking hour
since school started.

My reply with a wink:
"I absolutely think it is because of my e-mail.
Why would you think any different?
You know that
I have influential writing skills."

We laughed.

Well, here is a church sign that I captured this past week.
I am posting it in honor of the homework
we will be supervising with Abigail all evening.
Supervising meaning
she will have to do the work,
but we will have to make sure she stays focused
and gets it done.

I am kicking myself for living the hell
we call Sunday night homework.
I remember how my parents
used to always beg us to get our homework
done on Friday or Saturday.

But really, I don't have the heart to
make her do it on Friday night,
when she is completely wasted mentally.
And Saturdays are busy!
Sunday just seems easier,
as all we really have scheduled is
a three hour block of church.

Tonight's big assignment is a current event project.
I can't wait.



When I saw this church sign,
I couldn't help but think about
this post on a blog that I have been frequenting.
The Knoxvillian author of mamapundit
just lost her son to a drug overdose.
I am appalled at what people say to her.
It has some serious religious fervor going on.
It gives you a taste of
living in the Bible belt.
Of course, I put in my two cents.

Well, I believe I will copy and past my e-mail,
(to the teachers, not to mamapundit)
in case any of you ever need
some influential writing.

What is your opinion about the homework thing?


Dear Ms. Parker and 6A Team Teachers,

Abigail Gold is my daughter. And as I know none of you well, I want to preface this e-mail with the fact that I am not one of "those parents". I will absolutely do everything in my power to support you all in your goals as I will for my child. I know we all have her best interest at heart. Abigail has always been a straight A student and has never had any problems completing assigned homework. I am worried that her Honors classes may be too much for her to handle at such a young age. If we were to take her out of honors, would there be a considerable difference in the amount of homework?

My husband and I are both very dedicated to helping Abigail succeed with her education. We are very concerned because Abigail has had an abundance of homework. We are worried on two accounts. One, is all this homework really necessary? And two, does our child need an A.D.D. assessment? She is having a terrible time concentrating on her homework. I am not sure if it can really be considered Attention Deficit Disorder or if she is just sick and tired of studying all day every day. She understands the material and so I hate to take her out of Honors, but I am worried about her emotional well-being. She doesn't have a minute to relax anymore...not a minute...until Friday night. This past weekend, we did homework for eight hours on Sunday, where we repeatedly corral her back to her desk to focus. I have thought that our 3 other children were a lot of the distraction issues for Abigail, but on Sunday our other children were at their Grandma's.

Tonight we did math for 2 hours, social studies for a 1/2 hour, and language arts for 15 minutes. This doesn't even touch the 1/2 hour reading she is supposed to do for her Reading class. She also has 4 ongoing larger projects that she has only barely started. Today, she came home from school, did homework until she ran out the door to her soccer game and then came home and ate dinner while working on the rest of her homework until 10 p.m. This has been typical since school has started. Even on the nights she doesn't have soccer or church, she is still doing homework from the time she comes in the door until she goes to bed.

I understand that Knox County has raised the bar, but is homework the answer for these kids? As adults, we don't want to work all day every day, and I especially don't think it's fair to expect that of an 11 year old child. I don't think it's healthy. I also don't know if this is just an Honors thing, but if it is, is it really fair to approach honors by giving the excelled students more work than they can handle healthfully? Our whole family has been negatively effected by the amount of attention is required for Abigail's homework.

Trust me, I am all for teaching my child good work habits. (Let's not even talk about the chores she never has time for anymore) Abigail has high goals for college and talks of Ivy League schools, and I understand that she needs to learn good study habits, especially if this is her future goal, but I am sending this e-mail with grave concern for my daughter. I hope you can all shed some light for me. I know all the other parents have said that their kids have a ton of homework too, but I think we may need some medical attention for Abigail. I have been told that the schools conduct assessments when a parent expresses concern, and I wonder if this is true? I know you all are much more experienced with middle school and with a variety of students and I am novice with my oldest child just starting 6th, and so I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.

7 comments:

Renee said...

This is my amazing sister

The P*dunc's said...

Great letter. There is no way the teachers should get defensive. You didn't point fingers, you just stated all the possible facts.

I feel like Dallin already has a ton of homework and he is only in kindergarten (3-5 activities a night). I can not imagine what it will be like when all my kids are in school!

Jenny said...

Home work should not take up "that" much time. For heaven sakes, she must be mentally tired of all that work. The rule of thumb that I was taught at a training a few years ago. Was that an hour of home work was plenty long for each night. Problem is when each teacher thinks that they should be the one giving out an hour. My high schooler is down stairs right now working on homework. It is Sunday! She went on a required science class field trip and missed 3 classes. Like you I think they need a break Friday night and Saturday should be our family day!
Your a good mom for making the teachers aware.

Linda said...

Alice, it boggles my mind that she has that much homework...I didn't even have that much homework in high school! Good luck with your meeting on Tuesday!

Rita said...

You know my opinion on the homework -- I am right there with you my friend. My child starts to panic the night before a new day, imagining all the new homework that will be assigned. He too has had days with absolutely zero down time.

It is funny how mysteriously the load became lighter the past three nights...I do indeed think your writing has power! :) Do you need any more proof than all of your loyal blog readers???

ShEiLa said...

I have written my share of letters like yours to the teachers at middle school... some of the teachers here are mis-informed. They think they are teaching at the University level... so somebody needs to bring them back to reality.

I know WE sure had some hard struggles with too much homework. So I feel your pain.

ToOdLeS.

Diana W. Windley said...

Well written indeed! How can your daughter or family have any kind of balance with that much homework?